Wednesday, October 1, 2014


It was a quiet winter in State College.  It lasted for-ev-ER and it got really, really cold all the time, but it was quiet.

Because of the significant number of occurrences of weather over the season, there were many opportunities to do a little sledding.  Our neighbors lent us their little disc and Grant took Kendra down the hill across the parking lot from our apartment.  She had fun.

I am always entertained by the way my kids play.  Elliot went through a short phase when he insisted on playing with the Little Mermaid alongside his dinosaurs.  Luckily I got a photo.

And of course, it's even more entertaining to see how they play with each other.  There were a number of times over the winter that Paxton just up and sat down in Elliot's lap and made himself at home.  He was not invited, though cheerfully tolerated by his big brother.

Though his most common perch was on the interior stoop of the refrigerator.  If I opened the fridge and he was around, he would sit down.

For Christmas, we bought some triops and grew them through the bleakest part of the winter.  It added a daily enjoyment to check on them and we let the kids use a flashlight to look at them more closely.  Kids love to use flashlights, it turns out.

Paxton received a blanket for Christmas, and has grown VERY attached to it.  He insisted that I wrap it around him like this many times.

Meanwhile, Elliot has a particular accessory as well.  He has always been exponentially more sensitive to audio stimulation than any of his siblings, and sadly, this usually manifests itself into things like startling very easily at noises and generally having an extreme dislike for loud noises.  So we broke down and bought a pair of ear protectors and when he gets scared, we put them on him.  We call them "quiet headphones", and they help him to handle the grass getting mowed and the carpets getting vacuumed.

This winter also marked the beginning of an era in Kendra's life--the era of dress up.  She received a trunk with dresses, slippers and accessories and she just became OBSESSED with dressing up.  This is by far her favorite ensemble so far.

I have mentioned our holiday headbands before.  Paxton in particular has had fun with them.  This one was his favorite out of our Christmas collection, it's got mistletoe on it.  Not that he would need any to get kisses from me!  This picture is also a very accurate portrait of what he does with boxes.  Every box he can, he empties and occupies.

Elliot dropped his nap during the winter...sad!  So we had those awesome weeks (months) of transition where I didn't put him down because if he fell asleep in the afternoon, he'd stay up WAY past his normal bedtime but there were also days where he was just plain tired.  And once he passed out cold on the couch, which is a special feat during the day because in this tiny apartment, the couch is in the loudest, least peaceful part of the of the house!

This one doesn't have a significant story, it's just a cute look on Paxton's face that I happened to catch one day.  I love this kid.

Along with watch my children play and play together, I also extremely enjoy watching them learn.  Paxton discovered our shape sorting cube this winter and it was fun to go through the steps of learning this toy with him as I did his siblings before him.  We start with me putting the shape over the right hole and them pushing it through.  Then they find the right hole and I help them twist it into place.  Then they do it without me at all...they grow so fast!

I'm very pleased with how many pictures we got of Paxton this winter.  This 3rd baby is way not neglected in the documenting department!

I love this picture of Elliot and Grant.  This really is a father and a son--the resemblance blows me away sometimes!

You can always count on Elliot to assume the correct pose for a picture.  As soon as he sees the camera, he freezes, makes this face and says, "CHEEEEEEEESE!"  It's so adorable.

This winter saw a lot of snow.  And snow means the snow blower clearing off the sidewalk outside our windowed door.  And machinery getting used means little boys will investigate.

For the "big" present, we decided to get something to promote activity indoors, and we went with an exercise trampoline.  It doesn't bounce them very high, but it does help them to be more active during times when we're not able to get out very much!

Seriously, we did NOT get out much.  If it wasn't the weather, it was my entering the last trimester of my 4th pregnancy in 5 years that kept us inbound.  It was so nice to see them have so much fun.

This.  FACE!  He's so awesome.

She's pretty cool, too.

I can't remember when now, but at one point Elliot received this dump truck from his Poppa (my dad).  It is totally his favorite and he drives it around the house a LOT.  He also collects his favorite treasures that week and keeps them in there.  It's an all purpose vehicle for this little boy's needs.

I showed her these two flowers so she could pick something to wear in her hair for church one week.  She chose to wear both of them.

Wicked bed head.

Just spending an afternoon launching Hot Wheels through the loop.  It was simple but super fun.  Their childhoods are marked by afternoons like this.  Nothing and everything at the same time.

I totally do pore strips sometimes.  And I have no shame about that, so I'm posting the recorded evidence on my blog.

I can't get Paxton to eat cooked pasta, but he'll totally try to eat it dry, painted and glued to his big sister's art from preschool...

Paxton has developed into a very long and lean little man.  As a result, his pants are starting to fall down (he's still consistently gaining weight, so there's no medical concern) and we get plenty of moonlight as a result.

It is so, so very hard to be two.  Sometimes, when Elliot is having a hard time and not responding to my attempts to calm him, all I can do is take him to a quiet place and leave him there.  I generally go get him once he's quiet and let him out, but this time I found him like this.  At least he laid down on the rug and not the cold floor.

There you have it, Winter in a nutshell.  Congratulations for making it through the end of the post!  I definitely felt like it was an accomplishment to make it through the winter!

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